A victim of abuse who was mistreated within a religious setting as a young adult, Elizabeth Esther fesses up: she’s tried church as an adult, and the healing just isn’t there.
Yesterday, the Presbyterian pastor at the church we attend as a family described the Holy Spirit as a “violent, invading force” which cannot be “domesticated, organized or tamed.” He likened the work of the Holy Spirit to the wild, fire-whipping Santa Ana winds we experience here in Southern California.
I felt a wave of nausea sweep over me and my pulse sky-rocketed. I thought I might faint. Panic blurred my vision. But I couldn’t escape because I was seated mid-pew. I tapped my husband and when he looked at my anguished face, I mouthed the words: Violent. Invading.
Later, coming from that rare place of brutal honesty:
For eight years I’ve held out hope that I could “move on” and one day I’d find a pastor I could trust. Now I’m coming to the conclusion that the problem is not any church, any pastor or any small group. The problem lives inside me. I’m so utterly broken, so completely mistrusting, suspicious, jumpy and scared that even if Jesus was the pastor, I’d probably still have issues.
Read it and then come back here and tell us what you think.